Pretty Little Liars and Storylines I Hate.

Posted January 26, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

A few weekends ago, I took my 12 year old daughter with me to the bookstore to spend the gift cards that I got from Christmas. This was a happy time for me as I LOVE bookstores and I don’t get around to going to any very often.

Brenna, who reads when she has to and that’s it, came because after the bookstore, I was taking her to her basketball practice. So, in other words, she had to come with me. While we were in the store, she wanted me to buy her a Pretty Little Liars book and I kept telling her no. So of course, she gets upset.

She gets all pouty and goes downstairs to play with the nooks, the nook colors and all of the other stuff downstairs while me and the actual readers (my nieces Chaylene and Cheridan) continue to browse the bookshelves for books. We left with a bunch of books and Brenna got a Starbucks.

On our way to her basketball practice, she says, “Mom, the only reason you don’t like Pretty Little Liars is because of Aria and Ezra.”

My response? “Damn straight.”

If you aren’t familiar with the storyline between Ezra and Aria, this is it. Ezra is Aria’s English teacher and they’re in love. Yeah, I get that there were extenuating circumstances and that there’s a story here but I’m sorry, as a parent of a soon to be 16 year old daughter, I never ever want her to have a relationship with her teacher or someone in a position of authority at her school, on her sports team, etc…

This is a total deal breaker for me. It’s why I stopped watching Pretty Little Liars (never really paid much attention to the books until the show aired) and it’s why I stopped watching Life Unexpected. The minute Lux continued her relationship with her teacher, or the minute that the teacher continued the relationship with Lux, I tuned out.

My main gripe with this is that to someone like Brenna, it’s not a big deal. When she said, “It’s not a big deal, Mom.” I wanted to bean her in the head with a tennis ball.

Of course it’s a big deal. Teachers aren’t sent to schools to start relationships with their students. There’s a reason that it’s against the rules and against the law for adults to engage in relationships with children. When you’re 16, you’re still a child.

I get that the teachers met these students under false pretenses but when they found out the kids true age (when they showed up in their classrooms) they should have ended the relationship. What bothers me the most is that they continued the relationship. They couldn’t help themselves, you can’t help who you love and blah blah blah, I’m sorry but the right thing to do is to let that one go.

Kids treat this whole thing like it’s not a big deal. Brenna did. Chaylene and Cheridan didn’t think it was that big of a deal. They treat the whole thing like it’s something normal and I don’t want this to be normal. Kids should be kids, they should be running around town with their friends, getting into trouble, not doing their homework, not tying themselves down to an adult who was entrusted with their care and their education.

I know that it probably happens more than usual and that this is all fiction, not real anyway but I don’t want my kid thinking that it’s normal and that it’s okay. I want my kid to be out there playing basketball with her friends. I want her to laugh too loud and play kickball or dodgeball in the street. I don’t want her kissing her teacher or sneaking out to be with the adult that I send her to school to learn from everyday.

Any thoughts? Are there any story lines that you hate reading? Any deal breakers for you?

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7 responses to “Pretty Little Liars and Storylines I Hate.

  1. Christy

    A deal breaker for me is when a hero forces himself on the heroine (or anyone for that matter). That ends it for me, I put the book down because I’ll never forgive him. I don’t care if it is the 1600’s and he doesn’t know any better and he’s super sorry and blah, blah. He’s dead to me. 🙂 Obviously I have to avoid a lot of 80’s romance.

  2. Wonderfully written, Rowena!

    I hate when the guy thinks that he knows what is better for the girl and overrules all her decisions. I hate that. I hate when the books make it look that it is ok for the girls to just marry a rich guy and they are set for life – that is taking the feminist movement back by 60 years…

    Case in point – Twilight. Urgh!

  3. Anonymous

    I had a similar conversation with a friend of mine about a book that she is allowing her daughter to read. I felt the book was a tad inappropriate, but my friend she said that she wanted her daughter to be aware of what is happening in this day and age, and for her daughter to wise. She is a great mom, and said yesbaby , of course, there are books that are not appropriate, but she said if there are questions that her daughter has, she will answer them. It’s only up to the parent to deem what is appropriate and what is inappropriate for their child to read. I myself probably let my child read Pretty Little Liars for the simple reason that scenarion between Ezra and Stow because it happened to a friend of mine..

  4. The Aria-Ezra thing always drove me nuts, and I hated that even after it, Aria kept going after old guys (like flirting with a guy that later tuns out to be her mom’s boyfriend) and she just doesn’t learn from it.

    I think that, in the underbelly of this situation, is another aspect of bad romance: that some books make it seem like as long as you’re “In love” everything is okay. Like a teacher dating a 16 year old is fine because it’s love, it’s only one step removed from a boy telling a girl is okay to hit her because they are in love. you know?

    I’m probably not being very eloquent but I understand how something like this can be a trigger, especially for parents. I read the PLL at first, and that part always ick-ed me out though I liked most of the other aspects of the book in a “meh, it’s ok” way. Now that I’ve stopped reading them, I don’t really miss it.

  5. I’m in complete agreement with you regarding an adult-child romantic relationship. I don’t want my daughters thinking this is anywhere near normal or appropriate. I still let my daughters (12 and 16) to watch the show, and while we empathize with having to give up a loving relationship we discuss how wrong it is for Aria and Ezra to stay together. We agree that they should split and if they were truly meant for each other, they can get back together after Aria’s an adult. Of course, we point out a whole SLEW of things these girls are doing all wrong in their lives. Not that we’re perfect, but they make so many bad judgement calls. They still find it entertaining and really we just want to know who the hell A is. LOL!

    Great post.

  6. Rowena

    @Christy: I can see what you mean. That kind of storyline was popular back in the day.

    @Brahim: Thanks! Hahaha, oh Edward and Bella. Depending on how the author writes the hero bulldozing over the heroine, I don’t mind that so much but only if it’s done right and in a humorous way.

    @Anon: I know that I can’t protect my daughter from the ways of the world forever but I’d like her to hold onto her childhood for another year or so. She’s only 12 and I don’t want her to be cynical just yet.

    Open communication is a good thing between parent and child so kudos to your friend for keeping that line open. =)

    @Alex: YES! The whole they’re in love thing drives me crazy because the adult in the situation should know better and who knows what kind of issues they’re putting onto those children, Aria was never the same again and I just thought she grew up way too fast.

    I couldn’t get through the first book, once that storyline was introduced, they lost me.

  7. Rowena

    @Christine: Hey you! Yeah, Brenna still watches the show and I’m glad that we can talk about those things. She knows how I feel and I’m comfortable knowing that while she likes the show, she won’t do any of the many dumb things those girls do on that show.

    I so agree with you that they make such bad judgement calls. I know exactly what you mean, I’m itching to find out who the heck A is too.

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